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Playoff Extra: Wild Card Weekend Rankings

Senior Fantasy Writer
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We've already given you a strategy to help set your lineup for the Playoff Challenge. Now here are some playoff rankings with a look at who to start and sit for the Wild Card round, featuring Indianapolis at Baltimore, Cincinnati at Houston, Seattle at Washington and Minnesota at Green Bay.

The rankings are for the entire postseason, and we will update them each week throughout the playoffs.

Editor's note: The units listed after each player's name is the value assigned to each player in the CBSSports.com Playoff Challenge.

Quarterbacks

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1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers -- 82 units
2. Peyton Manning, Broncos -- 80 units
3. Tom Brady, Patriots -- 81 units
4. Matt Ryan, Falcons -- 74 units
5. Russell Wilson, Seahawks -- 66 units
6. Colin Kaepernick, 49ers -- 62 units
7. Joe Flacco, Ravens -- 61 units
8. Robert Griffin III, Redskins -- 71 units
9. Matt Schaub, Texans -- 64 units
10. Andy Dalton, Bengals -- 44 units
11. Andrew Luck, Colts -- 63 units
12. Christian Ponder, Vikings -- 38 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Rodgers, Wilson, Flacco
Sits: Griffin, Schaub, Dalton, Luck, Ponder
Rodgers is clearly the best quarterback this week. He is getting hot at the right time with 11 total touchdowns in his past three games with no interceptions and an average of 333 passing yards over that span. In Week 17 at Minnesota he had 365 passing yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. ... Wilson was a Top 12 Fantasy passer in eight of his final nine games and scored at least 23 Fantasy points in three road games at Miami, Chicago and Buffalo. ... Flacco had at least 18 Fantasy points in three of his final four home games. ... Griffin is facing a Seahawks defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points since Week 8, and Griffin has just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 7. ... Schaub has three games in his past four without a touchdown pass and has one game with more than 16 Fantasy points since Week 11. ... Since Mohammed Sanu (foot) got hurt in Week 12, Dalton hasn't had more than 16 Fantasy points. He's missing a third receiving option after A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham, and it shows. ... Like Griffin, Luck has struggled to close the season with just two games with more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 9. He's also facing a Ravens defense that has allowed just one quarterback to score more than 15 Fantasy points since Week 10, including matchups with both Manning brothers. ... Ponder just had 28 Fantasy points against the Packers in Week 17, but he had eight points at Green Bay in Week 13 and can't be trusted.

Running Backs

1. Knowshon Moreno, Broncos -- 60 units
2. Stevan Ridley, Patriots -- 63 units
3. Arian Foster, Texans -- 68 units
4. Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks -- 67 units
5. Ray Rice, Ravens -- 65 units
6. Frank Gore, 49ers -- 59 units
7. Adrian Peterson, Vikings -- 69 units
8. Alfred Morris, Redskins -- 57 units
9. DuJuan Harris, Packers -- 7 units
10. Michael Turner, Falcons -- 54 units
11. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Bengals -- 53 units
12. Danny Woodhead, Patriots -- 35 units
13. Vick Ballard, Colts -- 42 units
14. Jacquizz Rodgers, Falcons -- 41 units
15. Bernard Pierce, Ravens -- 24 units
16. Ben Tate, Texans -- 23 units
17. Ryan Grant, Packers -- 19 units
18. LaMichael James, 49ers -- 9 units
19. Willis McGahee, Broncos -- 38 units
20. Alex Green, Packers -- 33 units
21. Shane Vereen, Patriots -- 24 units
22. Ronnie Hillman, Broncos -- 16 units
23. Jason Snelling, Falcons -- 10 units
24. James Starks, Packers -- 32 units
25. Brian Leonard, Bengals -- 2 units
26. Cedric Peerman, Bengals -- 16 units
27. Brandon Bolden, Patriots -- 24 units
28. Robert Turbin, Seahawks -- 23 units
29. Delone Carter, Colts -- 12 units
30. James Casey, Texans -- 14 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Peterson, Foster, Rice, Lynch, Morris, Harris, Green-Ellis
Sits: Ballard and all the backups
In two games against the Packers since Week 13, Peterson has 55 carries for 409 yards and two touchdowns and two catches for 12 yards and a touchdown. If the Vikings can pull off the upset and Peterson gets into the Divisional round of the playoffs then anyone who used him has a good chance of winning. ... Foster had double digits in Fantasy points in all but one game this year with 17 total touchdowns. Last year against the Bengals in the Wild Card round -- with T.J. Yates at quarterback -- he had 24 carries for 153 yards and two touchdowns and three catches for 29 yards. ... Rice gets a Colts defense that has allowed 15 touchdowns to opposing running backs and 14 to reach double digits in Fantasy points, including one in each of the past three games. ... Lynch has five games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points and nine of his past 10, and the Redskins have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in six of their past seven outings. ... Morris has double digits in Fantasy points in each of his past six games and has at least 20 carries in each of his past seven outings. There were five running backs with at least 16 carries against the Seahawks this year and five reached double digits in Fantasy points. ... Harris is a sneaky sleeper since he has at least eight Fantasy points in three of his past four games, including 14 carries for 70 yards and two catches for 17 yards against the Vikings in Week 17. The Packers don't have a true running back, but he's worth the gamble based on his price. ... Green-Ellis is risky with his hamstring at less than 100 percent, but the Texans have allowed five touchdowns to running backs since Week 12 with five reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Ballard has double digits in Fantasy points in four of his past five games, but he has just two touchdowns over that span. The Ravens also get Ray Lewis (triceps) back, which should help their leaky run defense.

Wide Receivers

1. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos -- 48 units
2. Eric Decker, Broncos -- 46 units
3. Wes Welker, Patriots -- 48 units
4. Greg Jennings, Packers -- 39 units
5. Roddy White, Falcons -- 46 units
6. Julio Jones, Falcons -- 45 units
7. Andre Johnson, Texans -- 45 units
8. Michael Crabtree, 49ers -- 37 units
9. James Jones, Packers -- 40 units
10. Randall Cobb, Packers -- 44 units
11. A.J. Green, Bengals -- 43 units
12. Jordy Nelson, Packers -- 41 units
13. Torrey Smith, Ravens -- 36 units
14. Pierre Garcon, Redskins -- 35 units
15. Brandon Lloyd, Patriots -- 39 units
16. Reggie Wayne, Colts -- 39 units
17. Anquan Boldin, Ravens -- 29 units
18. Golden Tate, Seahawks -- 32 units
19. Sidney Rice, Seahawks -- 34 units
20. T.Y. Hilton, Colts -- 26 units
21. Doug Baldwin, Seahawks -- 24 units
22. Randy Moss, 49ers -- 23 units
23. Santana Moss, Redskins -- 18 units
24. Brandon Stokley, Broncos -- 24 units
25. Donnie Avery, Colts -- 22 units
26. Jacoby Jones, Ravens -- 9 units
27. Marvin Jones, Bengals -- 10 units
28. Andrew Hawkins, Bengals -- 8 units
29. Kevin Walter, Texans -- 13 units
30. Jarius Wright, Vikings -- 11 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Jennings, Johnson, Jones, Cobb, Green, Nelson, Smith, Wayne
Sits: Garcon, Boldin, Tate, Rice, Hilton
I like all the Packers receivers this week, but Jennings just scored twice against Minnesota in Week 17. He was also targeted a team-high 12 times and now has seven touchdowns in his past five meetings with the Vikings. Cobb is expected to be fine for the playoffs despite missing Week 17 with ankle and knee injuries, and he finished the season with double digits in Fantasy points in seven of his final 11 games. Jones has six touchdowns in his final five games, including one in each game against the Vikings in Week 13 and 17. Nelson returned from a three-game absence with a hamstring injury against the Vikings in Week 17 and had three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. ... Johnson had at least 95 receiving yards in seven of his final nine games. He had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown last year against the Bengals in the playoffs. ... Green faces a Texans defense that has allowed nine receivers to reach double digits in Fantasy points since Week 10. He was held to five catches for 47 yards at Houston in the playoffs last year and should be looking for some revenge. ... Smith has seven touchdowns at home this year, and No. 1 receivers have done serious damage against the Colts with 12 reaching double digits in Fantasy points. ... Wayne is facing a Ravens defense that has allowed a receiver to score in five of their past six games, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past six games. ... Garcon has gone three games in a row with single digits in Fantasy points and is facing the best secondary in the NFL with Richard Sherman and Brandon Browner, who is eligible to return from his four-game suspension this week. ... Boldin is dealing with a shoulder injury, which caused him to miss Week 17. He's risky because he had six games with double digits in Fantasy points in 2012 but also six games with four points or less. ... Hilton is better indoors than outdoors. On grass this year he has just one touchdown and is averaging 14.7 yards per catch compared to 17.5 yards indoors. ... Figuring out the Seattle receivers is like solving the fiscal cliff. There were only three times this year where Rice and Tate reached double digits in Fantasy points at the same time, and it happened just once on the road at Chicago in Week 13.

Tight Ends

1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots -- 44 units
2. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots -- 37 units
3. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons -- 39 units
4. Dennis Pitta, Ravens -- 32 units
5. Jermichael Finley, Packers -- 22 units
6. Delanie Walker, 49ers -- 16 units
7. Joel Dreessen, Broncos -- 23 units
8. Jacob Tamme, Broncos -- 23 units
9. Owen Daniels, Texans -- 30 units
10. Jermaine Gresham, Bengals -- 82 units
11. Kyle Rudolph, Vikings -- 17 units
12. Vernon Davis, 49ers -- 15 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Pitta, Gresham, Finley, Rudolph
Sits: Daniels
Pitta has four games with double digits in Fantasy points at home this year and has scored three touchdowns in his past four home games. ... Gresham is facing a Texans defense that has allowed five touchdowns to tight ends in the past four games. ... Finley had two of his best games this season against the Vikings with six catches for 60 yards on seven targets in Week 13 and eight catches for 72 yards on nine targets in Week 17. ... Rudolph had a touchdown in Week 13 against Green Bay, and the key for Rudolph is targets. He has nine games this season with at least six targets, and he's scored in seven of those games. ... Daniels has more than four Fantasy points just once since Week 11, and the Bengals have not allowed a tight end to score since Week 9.

Kickers

1. Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots -- 32 units
2. Matt Prater, Broncos -- 31 units
3. Matt Bryant, Falcons -- 30 units
4. Mason Crosby, Packers -- 28 units
5. David Akers/Billy Cundiff, 49ers -- 30 units
6. Shayne Graham, Texans -- 30 units
7. Justin Tucker, Ravens -- 27 units
8. Steven Hauschka, Seahawks -- 26 units
9. Kai Forbath, Redskins -- 17 units
10. Josh Brown, Bengals -- 15 units
11. Blair Walsh, Vikings -- 27 units
12. Adam Vinatieri, Colts -- 26 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Crosby, Graham, Tucker, Vinatieri, Walsh
Sits: Forbath, Hauschka, Brown

Defense/Special Teams

1. Broncos -- 36 units
2. Seahawks -- 32 units
3. 49ers -- 37 units
4. Patriots -- 35 units
5. Packers -- 82 units
6. Falcons -- 30 units
7. Texans -- 35 units
8. Ravens -- 30 units
9. Bengals -- 32 units
10. Colts -- 21 units
11. Redskins -- 21 units
12. Vikings -- 24 units

Wild Card Weekend

Starts: Seahawks, Ravens, Packers
Sits: Texans, Bengals, Colts, Redskins, Vikings

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Vikings' Bridgewater 'extremely comfortable' with leadership role
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Vikings second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is embracing his role as leader of the offense, the Star Tribune reports.

"I’m a young guy still on the team, but guys are pushing me forward to say something in the huddle, or break the team down, or break the offense down," Bridgewater said. "That just gives you that confidence in yourself, confidence in your leadership and I’ve been extremely comfortable doing that so far."

Coach Mike Zimmer is satsfied with the work Bridgewater has done during the offseason.

"It’s hard to never not be pleased with Teddy because he’s such a hard worker," Zimmer said. "We wanted him to get bigger and stronger; he looks a little bit bigger to me. He’s always worked real hard. The leadership things are starting to come better. I think he’s been doing a good job the two days we’ve been out here against the defense."

Bridgewater made 12 starts in his rookie season and played 13 games in all, racking up 2,919 yards, 14 touchdowns and 12 interceptions while completing 64.4 percent of his passes.


Broncos WR Emmanuel Sanders hoping to reach 1,000 yards
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders believes the new offensive scheme in Denver will effect his numbers, accoridng to the team's website.

Sanders is working with new offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and coach Gary Kubiak to install the team's new offense and noted it's very different from last year's spread attack.

"You talk about going from a no-huddle offense to an offense that's huddling up, to an offense that is predicated off running a football and then throwing it. It's different," Sanders said. 

"It's a totally different set up, but I tell you what, the more and more I'm in it," said Sanders. "Because we can get the run game going and just use my vertical speed on cross routes and all these different combinations of routes is based off the play action, then I think the offense will be successful with Peyton Manning at the helm."

Sanders, who totaled 1,404 yards and nine touchdowns in 2014, doesn't think he'll accomplish the same numbers.

"Of course obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses, well I'm praying that it is, but obviously it's not going to be one of those offenses where you catch it and you're going to have two receivers catching over 100 passes," said Sanders. "Hopefully, my goal is really to try to get a 1,000 yards to just help this team win ball games."


Cowboys rookie La'el Collins taking reps at RT in OTAs
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Cowboys rookie offensive lineman La'el Collins started offseason team activities on Wednesday taking reps at right tackle, according to the Dallas Morning News.

Collins, who was signed as an undrafted free agent, could also see time at left guard. But the rookie is taking his first reps with the team at right tackle with Darrion Weems while Doug Free recovers from ankle surgery.

"We think he has the physical ability to play a couple of different spots," coach Jason Garrett said. "He was a tackle for most of his career in college but did play guard. We see him as a guy who can maybe do both of those things as he goes.

"The big thing for him is to try to get him acclimated as quickly as we can. So right now he's going to play right tackle for us. He and Darrion Weems are competing at that spot in Doug Free's absence and we'll just see how that unfolds." 


Vikings' Adrian Peterson on absence from OTAs: 'It's business'
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Vikings running back Adrian Peterson said in a statement on Wednesday that his absence from OTAs has "nothing to do with wanting to be traded," ESPN reports.

"The reason I'm not attending OTAs has nothing to do with wanting to be traded. It's about securing my future with the Vikings. It's business, not personal and I understand that firsthand. Go Vikings."

It was reported earlier Wednesday that coach Mike Zimmer said that Peterson could "either play for us or not play." The running back has expressed frustration with team management for not showing him support during his legal case for child abuse.


Report: Falcons' Dezmen Southward undergoes knee surgery
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Falcons defensive backs Dezmen Southward underwent a minor-knee operation Wednesday, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Southward did not attend Tuesday's OTA and it is not known how long he'll be sidelined.


Julius Thomas trying to fit into Jaguars' offense
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas said after Wednesday's organized team activity that he intends to make it work with quarterback Blake Bortles, reports The Florida Times-Union.

"There is no 'Here's me coming in, and Blake's going to get on my page.' I'm going to be on Blake's page," Thomas said. "Whatever he expects, that's what I am going to do. He's the quarterback. He's the one in control of that huddle, and I like catching passes so I will make sure I do exactly what he wants."

With Thomas entering his first season with the Jaguars, he said it will take time to develop a rapport with Bortles.

"I think that getting good chemistry with a quarterback probably takes a couple of thousand passes," Thomas said.


Cowboys RB Darren McFadden not concerned with playing time
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) With the Cowboys just beginning their organized team activities this week, running back Darren McFadden said he just wants to concentrate on becoming familiar with the team, reports the team's official website.

"For me, I'm just going out there grinding," he said. "However the coaches put me out there – whether it's first team or second team. When it comes time for them to make a decision, it's totally up to them. I'm just trying to get that playbook down and take advantage of this opportunity."

McFadden is competing with Joseph Randle to be the first-team running back, and he said he just wants to work hard and not worry about how many repetitions he's receiving with the first team.

"Once you've been in a place so long like Oakland, you can get set in your ways," McFadden said Wednesday, after his second OTA practice with the Cowboys. "Coming out here and being around guys that work so hard, it just brings out the best in you. It's something I look forward to."


Chiefs' Mike Catapano on his health: I feel better than ever
by Sean d'Oliveira | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) After missing the entire 2014 season with a gastrointestinal virus, Chiefs defensive end Mike Catapano was able to participate in the team's OTA on Wednesday, reports The Kansas City Star.

"Every time I step on the field now it's with purpose and with extra vigor that I never really had," Catapano said. "It feels great. I feel better than ever."

Catapano played in 15 games during his rookie season in 2013 and he totaled four tackles and one sack. He said he's ready to surpass that in 2015.

"I'm ready to show that I offer a lot to this team. I'm ready to step up in big situations and starting situations," Catapano said. "I just want to keep getting better every day… and play to the best of my abilities."


Broncos' Manning, Sanders keeping up with Thomas during holdout
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is holding out of offseason workouts while he continues to negotiate a long-term deal with the team, but teammates Emmanuel Sanders and Peyton Manning have been keeping up with the star receiver, the Denver Post reports.

"One thing a lot of people don’t realize is when you’re playing on a one-year deal, there’s a lot of things going through your head," Sanders said. "As much as you guys want to say, ‘Don’t think about it,' of course it’s going to cross your mind because you’re talking about a lot of money at stake. When you’re playing these one-year deals, it’s a lot of stress on you. No matter how much you don’t want it to be, it’s going to happen. We’re all human."

Manning would like to have Thomas in workouts but understands the business aspects of his decision.

"I keep up with Demaryius. He’s my buddy," Manning said. "They got that business side of it to work out, but he’s been a great teammate to me, been a great friend to me since I’ve been here in Denver, so I keep up with him. Obviously want him to get back here as soon as possible, but we want what’s best for him, and he certainly deserves what’s best for him."

Thomas has started 16 games for three straight season, topping 90 receptions, 1,400 yards and 10 touchdowns in each.


Raiders sign Horace Miller, Milton Williams
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(5/27/2015) The Raiders have signed linebacker Horace Miller and wide receiver Milton Williams, the team announced on Wednesday.

Miller was waived by the Panthers earlier this offseason after spending one week on the active roster but seeing no playing time. Williams originally signed with the Raiders earlier this month before being waived a few days later.


 
 
 
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